Appeals: To the Chain of Command

Appeals: To the Chain of Command

  • References
    • BUPERS INST 1610.10 – Chapter 17
  • Contact info: As appeals to the Chain of Command are handled internally through a Sailor’s chain of command, there is no external contact information.
  • Background: For the terms of this book appeals can be informal, which is a request that goes up to but not including your commanding officer. Or a formal appeal which is requested through a special request chit requesting mast from your commanding officer. Appeals are adjudicated within the “lifelines” of a sailors command.  If a sailor does not agree with the decision after an appeal the sailor can submit a statement, request to correct the record or level a complaint against his commanding officer.
    • Examples of an appeal to the chain of command
      • Request for a change of your FITREP or EVAL
      • Request for a redress of unapproved leave
      • Request to switch duty sections
      • Request to address low command issues which have not become part of one’s permanent record.
  • Timeline: There is no timeline associated with submitting an appeal to the chain of command; however there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you want to submit the appeal while the matter is still current and before your chain of command has transferred. If you are appealing an EVAL and the reporting senior has already transferred your options Second, become limited
  • Who May submit an appeal to the chain of command: While there is no published doctrine, instruction or reference regarding who may submit an appeal, it would be very unusual if someone other than the effected sailor submitted an appeal. Commanding Officers and the chain of command would be well within their rights rejecting any appeal which was not submitted by anyone other than the effected sailor.
  • Request process: For the purpose of this book chapter we will distinguish between formal appeals to the chain of command, which are adjudicated through a request for captain’s mast and informal appeals to the chain of command which can be adjudicated through the chain of command; and would go no higher than the Executive Officer.
  • Formal Appeals to the chain of command: There is only one way to submit a formal appeal. Sailors are to submit formal appeals requesting mast with their commanding officers via a special request.
  • Informal Appeals to the chain of command: Informal appeals can be requested in any manner that one normally communicates with their chain of command. This could include e-mail, voice, or a request chit.
  • Adjudication Process:
    • Formal Appeals to the chain of command: Once a formal appeal is submitted via a special request chit, the chit goes up the chain of command to the Commanding Officer. He then decides whether he will accept the mast deny the mast, or give the chain of command specific guidance in resolving the issue. If the Commanding Officer does accept the sailor’s mast the sailor will have an opportunity to make his argument directly to the CO and should expect an answer relatively quickly. An example script for Captains Mast is provided in the appendix.
  • Informal Appeals to the chain of command: Once requested an informal appeal is simply a chain of command discussion about the specific problem. Using the example of W.T. Door, he requested not to have duty on Sunday, a request that was then denied by his LPO. T. Door used the informal appeal process by notifying his LPO that he wished to speak to his Chief regarding this issue.  He explained to his Chief that the Navy MILPERSMAN 1731-101 allows for a sailor to take a Sabbath day. Chief then resolved the appeal by modifying the watch bill to non-Sunday days.  Had PO3 Door’s Chief, and division officer been unwilling to assist he would be within his rights to submit a formal appeal to the chain of command and request mast.

Special Considerations: If both an informal appeal and formal appeal is unsuccessful, and the Sailor chooses to pursue the issue, his next step is to request a record correction through the Board of Correction of Naval Records or an article 138/1150 complaint

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